EXPORTS TAKE A HIT

EXPORTS TAKE A HIT

A massive decline in exports is expected to have a significant impact on Queensland's State Final Demand figures for the March quarter, to be released tomorrow.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser says the flooding crisis and Cyclone Yasi had killed off the momentum gained by the Queensland economy in the back half of 2010.

"No-one should be under any illusion as to what we can expect tomorrow," he says.

"The natural disasters have put significant pressure on every sector of the economy. The ABS' Balance of Payments data released today show a massive drop in exports. Nowhere is it more prevalent than in the resources sector - hard coking coal exports fell by $1.8 billion over the March quarter, while thermal coal exports fell by $434 million.

"These kinds of figures will have a big impact on the national economy, let alone Queensland's. Today we have also seen dwelling approvals hit, with the housing market under consistent pressure from rising interest rates.

"Tomorrow, when the State Details are released as part of the National Accounts data, we will get the first release from the ABS about the actual extent of the devastating impact those natural disasters have had on our economy."

Fraser says while the economy was experiencing post-disaster challenges, the fundamentals remain strong.

"We have seen numerous recent reports that have outlined Queensland economic recovery before the floods,” he says.

"Access Economics, Westpac and the most recent ABS building expenditure figures all showed a recovering economy, fuelled by surging investment.

"The natural disasters have certainly put the brakes on that recovery, but I am confident that through the reconstruction activity and continued investment, led by the resources sector, there will be a big bounce-back in 2011-12."

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